Before the trip starts, you should prepare your “cockpit” so that you have the most important things at hand during the journey. We have put together a small list based on our – sometimes painful – experience. If you have any further recommendations, please leave us a comment!
GPS / map: Most frequent travelers now have a navigation system. However, you cannot completely rely on it, as we have had to experience many times. Sometimes you didn’t buy the last expensive update, sometimes the device does not get any reception, sometimes it even decides to completely give up the ghost. We therefore advise you to always have the right road maps with you. Because amusing little detours can be – at the latest when you get lost along with the caravan in the alleys of a small mountain village, the fun stops. We know what we’re talking about …
Driver’s license / ID documents / emergency card: The driver’s license should always be at hand, but your ID or passport should not be missing – especially if you want to go abroad. For example, at the border crossings to Croatia, Andorra or Norway, ID or customs controls are sometimes carried out. It is best to keep the documents in the glove compartment, the center console or the door compartments – this is more comfortable than in your pocket 🙂 In addition, it is advisable to always carry an emergency card with the most important data (personal information, blood group, required medication, etc.) so that the right measures can be taken quickly in the event of an accident or serious illness. If you don’t already have something like this, you can download a template for printing here.
Cash / EC card / credit card for toll booths: In some countries, motorway tolls are levied, which are payable at toll booths in many places. It is advisable to always have cash, preferably a larger number of coins, ready, as card payments are not accepted everywhere. It also happened to us a few times that the readers did not work and we only had to start frantically searching for our money.
Drinks: It is important to drink regularly, especially on longer journeys. Bicycle water bottles are practical because you don’t have to laboriously unscrew the lid, but can drink comfortably with one hand. In addition, the closure prevents something from leaking and the bottles often fit into the holder mounted in the vehicle.
Snacks: We admit it – we simply cannot travel without snacking in between. Even one or the other sandwich has breathed his life out at full speed on highways. If you also get caught up in spontaneous hunger, take care of small supplies that can be eaten on the side and without a higher degree of pollution. In our opinion, nuts, biscuits, crackers, dried fruits, gummy bears, BiFis, salami sticks, chocolate, rice waffles and sliced fruit or vegetables are well suited. Not recommended: pizza, sushi, hamburgers and meatballs. Please don’t ask why – just believe it! (On request we can provide a detailed overview of cleaning costs from various service providers …)
Handkerchiefs / kitchen roll: If something goes wrong, the car windows are tarnished or you have a cold – with some paper, most problems can be solved at least temporarily.
Sunglasses: don’t forget to pack your sunglasses even if you are driving in cloudy skies or rain. Wet, reflective streets, diffuse lighting conditions and sunrises or sunsets can, depending on the position of the sun, cause you to be blinded.
Belt cutter / emergency hammer: As already mentioned in our “Basic equipment” list, these parts are indispensable for emergencies – regardless of whether you are planning long trips or are only on the go for a short time. They are available for a few euros and in some companies even in combination and can save lives. Ideally, you deposit one of these tools for each passenger in the respective door compartments.
Flashlight: For breakdowns, accidents or just for orientation in poor lighting conditions, you should carry a small lamp that can also be stowed in the door or glove compartment.
Safety vests: In many countries around the world, safety vests are mandatory. At least for every passenger, in some countries even for every seat, such a vest must be carried and put on when leaving the vehicle outside of built-up areas.
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